The soaring cost of living in Ethiopia

By Addis G. Tadesse – The soaring cost of living in cities and deepening poverty in rural areas across Ethiopia needs the priority attention of the government.

The problem won’t go away if the government continues approaching it in a business as usual manner. As I see it the issue has already assumed a magnitude of national emergency. Immediate and drastic measures need to be taken to ward off a catastrophe. Gauging emotions even at face value one can discern hopelessness fast creeping in society. Corruption is rampant at all levels worsening the situation.

Government I suppose needs to revise its economic policies with due emphasis to providing people with real incentives to work, innovate, invest in economic activities. Extractive economic policies would only accelerate economic status gaps with few elites taking it all and the vast majority leading a life of squalor and want.

I find striking similarities between the conclusions made in the Book “Why Nations Fail” and our present realities in terms of the economic frailties, failures and efficient inefficiencies that entails extractive economic system. Economic opportunities must be made widely accessible.

The so called ease of doing business need to apply to all Ethiopians in the same way its necessity has been clamored as a way of attracting foreign direct investment. Ethiopians cannot remain wretched and passive while all economic gains goes to few elites and foreign investors. And foreign investors may not be as happy working under a climate of pervasive wretchedness.